Friday, June 26, 2009

Green Scrappy Background Part 2

If you refer back to the June 8th post you will see the first installment of Scrappy Backgrounds. Above is the green sheet cut into 9 ATCs. I'm going to mount them on a green brocade fabric covered background. I like the look of arranging them as they were on the whole sheet with a little space between each one. The green doodles at the top of the page will become the focal points on the ATCs. They were all done on speckled ivory cardstock. Some have green pigment ink coloring the background and one is a hand carved stamp that I doodled over. 12+ green felt tips were used for the drawings. I like to doodle while I watch TV. If I'm just too tired to be in my studio at night, doodling on the sofa with the tube on keeps me from feeling like a total slug! I picked leaves as my theme for these. Just let yourself meander with the drawings and don't worry about being perfect. It's a great brain relaxer. The next step is to add the doodles to the ATCs. All of the background and doodle scraps get saved for faux postage and inchies. From one background sheet and a couple pages of doodles, you can create a nice collection of personal images to use in your work.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Check out my Life's A Beach artwork in ClothPaperScissors magazine

Follow this link to see my submission to the ClothPaperScissors magazine Reader's Challenge.

Fourth of July Cards

I love sending handmade cards for all the holidays. It's a great way to keep in touch with distant friends and relatives. Thye don't have to be elaborate and it's a great way to use up scraps. My focal point for these cards was a kaleidoscope made from a scanned flag in Kaleidoscope Kreator. Using the same flag, the blue field and stars were enlarged slightly then cut with a punch and attached to the flag pinwheel with a brad. The center square twirls around for a fun touch. The backgrounds varied as you can see from these 4 cards. I went through my supplies and used any paper that fit the color scheme.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Published in Sew Somerset!

Check out my mixed media pieces in the Summer 2009 issue of Sew Somerset magazine. Above is a detail of Moroccan Lily on page 128 and there are also 5 Lily ATCs on page 129.
The magazine is published by Somerset Studio, a beautiful magazine devoted to paper arts and mixed media. This spin-off is devoted creative sewing with mixed media. Find you copy at Barnes & Noble, Borders or .

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Special Details

Finishing a piece of artwork is like dressing up for a special occasion. The dress is killer but if the jewelry and accessories aren't perfect, it can make or break the final look. When I begin a piece, I usually gather EVERYTHING in my studio that fits the mood and colors of the art. From this large pile of stuff, I begin to whittle down and edit. Most of it will never be in the final piece but comparing and eliminating help clarify the process. At some point, when the composition is almost done, it's time for the fancy details that make it sing. I love to add beads, couched fancy threads and painted accents to really bring a spark to the piece. On the two close-ups above, you can see how the final tiny additions define and highlight the key elements and movement in the art.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Scrappy Backgrounds

I'm continuing to clean up the pile of paper scraps on my desk. All of these background sheets are 8.5" x 11". For the base, I used pieces of ugly cardstock since they are completely covered. I weeded thru the stash and made piles of related colors. Next, I arranged the pieces, cutting and tearing as needed. My goal was to produce interesting backgrounds for collage and ATCs (Artist Trading Cards). Each piece needed to be balanced and able to stand alone in it's entirety plus have enough interest all over to still look good if it was cut apart. Everything was glued with a glue stick. I ended up cutting all of these into ATC size- 2.5" x 3.5". There was a little waste with each one which I saved for faux postage. I think they will all be mounted to fabric colored boards and reassembled in the order they were cut. I'm still working on that idea so stay tuned.

This is a great way to use the beautiful paper scraps you accumulate and create beautiful, unique backgrounds. Great relaxation too! I usually make 8-10 at a time so I have them in reserve for future projects.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Unique Greeting Cards

I do a lot of artwork and experiments and I always have a pile of paper scraps, ATC (Artist Trading Cards) and collage parts accumulating on my desk. A couple of times a year, I make a big batch of cards with all the leftovers. I find if have a stockpile of readymade cards, I am always ready with a thank you or sympathy card and also give sets as gifts to friends. Everyone likes receiving a card that is unique as it makes the sentiment of the card more meaningful.
To cut down on the assembly time, I keep an eye out for blank card sets on sale. This way, I don't have to cut and measure to create the base cards. Even if cards are patterned they will work. Just coordinate the additonal layers and artwork. All of the cards above were made with purchased cards and envelopes. I really like the diecut layers with scallops and zigzags. I spread all the cards out on the floor so I can see them and then go thru collage scraps, ephemera, etc. to create the focal point of the card. Then, the paper scraps come out and I choose additional layers for each card. Finally, any ribbons or embellishments are chosen. I stack each card and its components in bins. When I'm ready, I just pull off the stack and assemble. It's so much faster this way if you think production instead of individual cards.
Making cards is relaxing for me and gives me a good breather in between bigger projects. It also teaches great composition skills and allows me to try new techniques. When I'm done the huge stack of "stuff" on my desk is more manageable and I have a stash of great cards!